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Name: Amanda Clay
Before Weight: 250 pounds
How I Gained It: I was diagnosed with a thyroid condition at 13, and from there I slowly started gaining weight. I was always a pretty active person, but my weight just kept going up. I see now all the mistakes I made when it came to food. I was on the run most of the time, so ordering out became really what I did. Even when you think you're eating healthy, the serving size is often larger than normal, or the salad you assumed is healthy has tons of calories. I had every excuse: slow metabolism, big boned, etc. I never really realized how unhealthy I had become.
Breaking Point: I wanted to lose the weight and get healthy for me, but the turning point was when my sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. There was nothing she could do about her diabetes, but there was something I could do about my weight.
How I Lost It: I joined a gym and started trying all the classes. It was scary to walk into a class for the first time being overweight, but everyone was supportive. I had tried the treadmill and elliptical, but they really were not fun. I had not found a workout I loved until my sister dragged me into my first Zumba class. I was very skeptical jumping into a dance-based class. I'm no dancer, but I was willing to try it once. I had so much fun. I'm not sure I got one move right in my first class, but I was sweating, laughing and the hour was over before I knew it. I started taking Zumba three times a week and quickly increased that to five to six times a week. Since then, I've become a licensed Zumba instructor. Currently, I teach three to four times a week and am in classes six days a week. I have also completed boot camps, participated in a six-month challenge in which I finished in third place and am currently training for a fitness competition. I have even run a half marathon, which is crazy because I never was a runner.
I tend to eat eggs or oatmeal for breakfast, chicken or fish with veggies for lunch and dinner. For snacks, I do a protein shake or maybe an apple with peanut butter. Depending on the day, I will add sweet potato or quinoa to that. I'm not going to lie and say I don't have a cheat meal every once in a while. If I want something I will have it, just a small portion.
I have made some of the best friends you could ask for along the way. My family, friends, trainers and students in class all made this possible by helping me along the way. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? YES!
Current Weight: 140 pounds
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As told to Sarah Klein